Dear Readers of Country Squire Magazine I trust that You are well this Sunday. If You are depressed and frustrated about Covid or just fed up with the grey autumnal skies then You can always watch Lord Botham versus the Aussies from 1981.
This week I would like You to think of the lonely people near You. These could be family members or former work colleagues. Maybe someone who has been through a recent divorce or lost their partner to illness? Please reach out to that person, even if You just telephone them or email them.
If the lonely person is You then be brave. Reach out. Tell the world through social media or write to family or friends. Being lonely is not a sin. We humans are social animals.
Loneliness is one of the great ills of modern day Britain.
- Loneliness, living alone and poor social connections are as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. (Holt-Lunstad, 2010)
- Loneliness is worse for you than obesity. (Holt-Lunstad, 2010)
- Lonely people are more likely to suffer from dementia, heart disease and depression. (Valtorta et al, 2016) (James et al, 2011) (Cacioppo et al, 2006)
- Loneliness is likely to increase your risk of death by 29% (Holt-Lunstad, 2015)
- The number of over-50s experiencing loneliness is set to reach two million by 2025/6. This compares to around 1.4 million in 2016/7 – a 49% increase in 10 years (Age UK 2018, All The Lonely People)
- There are 1.2 million chronically lonely older people in the UK (Age UK 2016, No-one should have no one).
- Half a million older people go at least five or six days a week without seeing or speaking to anyone at all (Age UK 2016, No-one should have no one).
- Over half (51%) of all people aged 75 and over live alone (Office for National Statistics 2010. General Lifestyle Survey 2008).
- Two fifths all older people (about 3.9 million) say the television is their main company (Age, U.K., 2014. Evidence Review: Loneliness in Later Life. London: Age UK).
- There are over 2.2 million people aged 75 and over living alone in Great Britain, an increase of almost a quarter (24%) over the past 20 years (ONS).
These statistics are horrific. They do not need to be as bad as this. We should be able to be more Christian and reach out to those who are suffering from loneliness today.
I wish You and Your families a peaceful Sunday. I trust that You have a good week ahead and try not to stress too much, although stress is around in bucketful’s at this time of the year, especially this dreadful year. God Bless You all.
God of compassion and grace,
we pray for all those who
through age and infirmity
find themselves imprisoned
within the loneliness of home,
watching a world outside
that once had their
increasingly pass them by.
Be with and bless them, Lord,
along with family and carers
calling through the week to help.
May they know that they are loved,
still precious in your sight,
and feel your arms support them
in the day and through the night.